Mamua, when our laughter ends, And hearts and bodies, brown as white, Are dust about the doors of friends, Or scent ablowing down the night, Then, oh! then, the wise agree, Comes our immortality. Mamua, there waits a land Hard for us to understand. Out of time, beyond the sun, All are one in Paradise, You and Pupure are one, And Tau, and the ungainly wise. There the Eternals are, and there The Good, the Lovely, and the True, And Types, whose earthly copies were The foolish broken things we knew; There is the Face, whose ghosts we are; The real, the never-setting Star; And the Flower, of which we love Faint and fading shadows here; Never a tear, but only Grief; Dance, but not the limbs that move; Songs in Song shall disappear; Instead of lovers, Love shall be; For hearts, Immutability; And there, on the Ideal Reef, Thunders the Everlasting Sea! And my laughter, and my pain, Shall home to the Eternal Brain. And all lovely things, they say, Meet in Loveliness again; Miri's laugh, Teipo's feet, And the hands of Matua, Stars and sunlight there shall meet, Coral's hues and rainbows there, And Teura's braided hair; And with the starred 'tiare's' white, And white birds in the dark ravine, And 'flamboyants' ablaze at night, And jewels, and evening's after-green, And dawns of pearl and gold and red, Mamua, your lovelier head! And there'll no more be one who dreams Under the ferns, of crumbling stuff, Eyes of illusion, mouth that seems, All time-entangled human love. And you'll no longer swing and sway Divinely down the scented shade, Where feet to Ambulation fade, And moons are lost in endless Day. How shall we wind these wreaths of ours, Where there are neither heads nor flowers? Oh, Heaven's Heaven! -- but we'll be missing The palms, and sunlight, and the south; And there's an end, I think, of kissing, When our mouths are one with Mouth. . . . 'Taü here', Mamua, Crown the hair, and come away! Hear the calling of the moon, And the whispering scents that stray About the idle warm lagoon. Hasten, hand in human hand, Down the dark, the flowered way, Along the whiteness of the sand, And in the water's soft caress, Wash the mind of foolishness, Mamua, until the day. Spend the glittering moonlight there Pursuing down the soundless deep Limbs that gleam and shadowy hair, Or floating lazy, half-asleep. Dive and double and follow after, Snare in flowers, and kiss, and call, With lips that fade, and human laughter And faces individual, Well this side of Paradise! . . . There's little comfort in the wise.
I strayed about the deck, an hour, to-night
Under a cloudy moonless sky; and peeped
In at the windows, watched my friends at table,
Or playing cards, or standing in the doorway,
Or coming out into the darkness. Still
No one could see me.
I would have thought of them
—Heedless, within a week of battle—in pity,
Pride in their strength and in the weight and firmness
And link’d beauty of bodies, and pity that
This gay machine of splendour ’ld soon be broken,
Thought little of, pashed, scattered. …
I could but see them—against the lamplight—pass
Like coloured shadows, thinner than filmy glass,
Slight bubbles, fainter than the wave’s faint light,
That broke to phosphorus out in the night,
Perishing things and strange ghosts—soon to die
To other ghosts—this one, or that, or I.